Vietnam: MobiFone seeks to tap pay TV market, to acquire An Vien parent

Visual from MobiFone website

Vietnamese mobile network operator MobiFone is planning to acquire 95 per cent stake of Audio Visual Global JSC (AVG), the owner of An Vien pay TV, a move seen as the telecom major’s effort to compete with two other giants in the country.

The intention was revealed to a local newswire called Zing News, after MobiFone chairman Le Nam Tra disclosed in an earlier meeting that the carrier will invest in providing broadcasting services.

“We will invest in essential infrastructure to deliver television services as well as join the government’s initiative of television digitalisation. The development of television services will help reinforce our competitiveness,” Tra said at the company’s meeting on December 31.

Pham Nhat Vu, chairman of the privately owned pay TV operator, was reportedly present at the MobiFone meeting.

Having a leg in the new category of business, the state-owned carrier plans to diversify amid telecommunications competition with two other state-owned network firms VNPT and Viettel, and amid its IPO preparation. While VNPT is offering over 130 premium channels, Viettel has also provided its own subscription-based television services.

As per the privatisation of MobiFone, Vietnam’s communications minister Nguyen Bac Son was affirmative that its upcoming IPO will bring about a much larger sum of money than the collective IPOs of nearly 560 state-owned firms within the past five years. While the state has divested some VND15 trillion ($667 million) from these enterprises during the 2011-2015 period, Son hoped a VND20 trillion IPO for MobiFone.

Having entered the premium television market since 2011, AVG’s operation has been challenged by a spate of both state and private players like VTVCab, Saigontourist Cable TV, VTC Digital and France’s Kplus. Zing News cited industry experts that AVG decided to sell the business to MobiFone due to the burden of losses.

Meanwhile, MobiFone is trying to tap the stiff but highly promising pay TV market, as the local government targets by 2020, digital television will replace analog television across the country.

Also read: Vietnam state broadcaster VTV to divest stake in three pay TV units

MobiFone hopes to raise $889m from privatisation

Axiata eyes stake in Vietnam’s MobiFone

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.